Journal of Defense Research, 1969-1978

By July 6, 2010

The Journal of Defense Research (JDR) was a classified publication sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to encourage dissemination of classified research on topics of military or national security interest.  It began publication in 1969, replacing the former Journal of Missile Defense Research.

Many years later, most of the Journal’s contents still seem to be classified, but the table of contents of the Journal’s first decade (pdf) has been declassified and is now available on the Federation of American Scientists website.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, most of the names of the authors whose work was published in JDR are unfamiliar, with a few exceptions (e.g., Garwin and Augustine; Hugh Everett’s name does not appear).  The topics of the papers provide a snapshot of the technologies and the strategic concerns of the time, and give an indication of the scale of classified government research that was devoted to addressing them.

“The JDR is ‘mission essential’ as a classified research tool,” a Defense Science Board Task Force (pdf) stated in 1985.  “Being the only classified journal of its type, the JDR is used to communicate ideas amongst the defense community and is a basic tool for researchers.”

Update: Additional JDR index material is available here.

Categories: Secrecy